Friday, June 28, 2013

Garlic-Scented Wilted Spinach

With summer comes the lovely Salad Days when I seem to eat some type of salad everyday. It is a habit that is unavoidable when greens are so fresh and accessible. However, every once in a while in the summer, I pine for greens in a different form.  I made saag a few days ago with some chard and turnip greens, and today I thought I'd make a simple spinach dish.  

This garlic-scented spinach dish is something I usually make in the winter. It takes less than 10 minutes to prepare and is very tasty. The simple seasonings and lemon bring out the flavor of the spinach and the garlic serves as a nice undertone.  I often make it with chard, making sure to remove the larger stems.

Garlic-Scented Wilted Spinach

makes 1 to 2 servings (depending on how big you want your muscles to be)

If you are hoping for a more robust garlic taste, then finely chop the garlic and keep it in the pan with the spinach. Though be careful not to burn it. Otherwise, I usually add the fried garlic clove to some other dish I'm making that day.

1 tsp oil
1 large garlic clove, peeled and smashed
2 large handfuls fresh spinach, or about 2 packed cups
1 small lemon wedge
salt and black pepper

With a lid handy, heat oil on medium low in a cast iron or frying pan, about 2 minutes. Add smashed garlic clove and cook until lightly golden, 1 to 2 minutes.  Discard clove. 

Add spinach to pan and turn to coat with oil, 30 seconds. Add about 1 tablespoon of water and cover pan with lid. Steam spinach for about 30 seconds. Remove lid and stir in salt. If not completely wilted, cook spinach about 30 seconds more. Once wilted, turn off heat and squeeze lemon wedge over spinach. Toss to coat. Add black pepper as desired. Serve immediately.

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